Minimising Risk after End of Teaching Council in England

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Byline: GARETH EVANS

TEACHERS seeking jobs in Wales are to be asked to fill out a written declaration that they have not been disciplined in England.

Unions yesterday welcomed the measure introduced by the General Teaching Council for Wales in the wake of the scrapping of its sister body in England.

The GTCW will require teachers from across the border seeking registration in Wales to make a written declaration as to whether or not they have ever been subject to disciplinary action.

Anyone found making a false submission would be in breach of code and guilty of serious professional misconduct.

The GTCW is the first UK regulatory body to plan ahead and plug the gap left when the General Teaching Council for England (GTCE) closes down next year.

Axed by the Westminster coalition, Education Secretary Michael Gove said he was "deeply sceptical" of the GTCE's purpose, believing it "does little to raise teaching standards or professionalism".

He supports more self-regulation in schools and said the quango was "not earning its keep".

Meanwhile, the GTCE has reported a 50% rise in disciplinary cases as schools rush to have cases dealt with before the body is abolished in March.

Hayden Llewellyn, deputy chief executive of the GTCW, said from next year, headteachers in England would no longer be obliged to refer disciplinary matters to a professional body.

"Even if they choose to refer cases to the new Teaching Agency, it only has power to impose prohibition orders, so many cases are likely to go unrecorded because they are not considered serious enough to fall into that category.

"This suggests that the Government in London thinks parents do not care about professional misconduct or criminal offences which are short of the most serious cases.

"Serious professional incompetence will not even be referred or considered by the UK Secretary of State. We in Wales take a different view. …